Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chicken Fried Cauliflower "Rice"

When I saw this recipe being demonstrated on the Today show, I was a bit skeptical, but it kept turning up online in that persistent way that makes one curious. So...I decided it was worth a try. I found a recipe that would serve as a base, but made substantial changes to it--I didn't like using bacon and bacon grease and I wanted to add my favorite protein, chicken. Here follows my recipe for chicken fried (cauliflower) rice.

Serves 3-4 (as a main course)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 " cubes
1 egg white
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch

1 medium head cauliflower*

1 tsp sesame oil

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
5 scallions
1/4 cup cashews, almonds, or other nut
 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
*Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough inner core. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces. You should have 5 to 6 cups of cauliflower "rice."
Add the cornstarch to the egg white and whip with a fork until incorporated. Place the diced chicken in the mixture and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
Place a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp sesame oil.  Whisk the eggs and pour them into the skillet. Quickly make an omelet. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board and roughly chop into pieces.
Wipe the skillet (or wok)  clean and add an inch and a half of water. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and use a slotted spoon to separate the pieces. Cook until no pink remains, 3 - 5 minutes. Remove your "velveted" chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Clean the skillet (or wok) and warm 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the carrots and sauté until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Stir  peas and cauliflower "rice" into the pan, mixing the ingredients thoroughly.
Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the eggs,scallions, cashews, chicken and 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce to taste. Serve immediately.
I cannot wait to make this again. First, because it was delicious. Second, because I was only permitted a taste. Unfortnately, I was placed on a low fiber diet for 10 days and could not eat any more of it. While you know that it isn't really rice, it has all the same flavors of a good fried rice and even most of the texture. Of course, it is easily adapted for a vegetarian dish. Likewise, you might decide to add shrimp or pork or beef. My suggestion is to velvet your protein. It makes a huge difference. I know this will be a much-requested dinner.

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